Self-imposed Limitations

Most of the limitations in comics are self-imposed. We’re still making comics the way our grandparents did, with many of the same tools, and often with the very same characters. Animation doesn’t seem to have that mindset, and in many ways, they’re starting to leave us behind creatively. 

That’s not to say modern comics aren’t fantastic, because they are. The tools are also fantastic, I use most of them myself. Tradition and legacy are important and lineart will always have a prominent place in the comic book industry. But why are we applying tradition as a limitation to what is otherwise a limitless medium? Why do we have such a narrow definition of what a comic should be? How a comic should look? What genres are best?

When I hear someone say they can’t make comics because they can’t draw, my reaction is always the same: Who says comics need to be drawn? 

Animation fans happily embrace the construction paper cutouts of Southpark, the action figures of Robot Chicken, the lumps of clay in Wallace and Gromit, the miniature stylings of Laika, the classic collage animation of Terry Gilliam, and yes, the 3D renderings of Pixar. Much of these stylistic choices benefit greatly from drawing, design, and storyboarding, some more than others. But that’s not the point. The point is that if you want to make comics and your excuse involves drawing, it’s time to scratch that one off the list and make some comics.